The Clarence Valley has been waiting for the promised upgrade to Grafton Base Hospital for over a decade now.
The NSW Government had told us on more than one occasion that the money was there and that work was starting soon - then returned to ignoring the health needs of Valley residents.
It took Labor's Janelle Saffin and the 2007 federal election to see another health funding pledge of $18 million.
But the NSW Minister for Health, who has had a departmental master plan before her ever since she took over this portfolio, is yet to supply the Commonwealth with a timetable and schedule of works.
Many in the Valley are beginning to wonder if the Iemma Government is trying to obtain the offered funding without it being tied specifically to a Grafton Hospital upgrade, so that it can plug the gap elsewhere.
Or if it is procrastinating in the hope it will not have to come up with its upgrade funding share for another decade.
Are we to be diddled again?
Journalist and Deputy-Editor of The Daily Examiner, David Bancroft, ran this frontpage comment on Thursday.
WE asked NSW Health Minister Reba Meagher a simple question yesterday: when will work start on the upgrade of the promised operating theatres and emergency department at Grafton Base Hospital?
Her answer was waffle.
She told us that that the Federal Government's announced funding was welcome. Obviously.
She told us that planning had already started. That started more than a decade ago.
She told us that Grafton Base Hospital played an important role in delivering health services. Again, obviuously.
And she told us admissions to the emergency department had increased. Exactly.
What she did not tell us was when work would start and if the State Government would provide additional money needed for the projects to proceed.
We need answers, Ms. Meagher, not platitiudes, and we need them now.